KIU Titans choke Oilers
Posted Sunday, September 29 2013 at 01:00
Kampala-KIU Titans were always penciled in to play on Friday. Their opponent would have been DMark Power.
And had the five-time champions’ coach Bernes Ankunda not lost his wife, City Oilers would have taken the night off and watched in the Lugogo MTN Arena stands.
As Kate Wanjiku (RIP) was being buried in Kenya yesterday, a change in scheduling took the Oilers from taking a break to playing. This is the kind of opponent they wouldn’t have wanted to play.
KIU have their number. The university beat the newcomers 72-65 to complete a season double over the so-called title contenders or teams in the top four.
It’s never pretty to play KIU. They are arguably the most physical side and play the best defence in the league. Kami Kabangu was restricted to ‘only’ 15 points and seven rebounds.
He also accumulated four fouls and toyed a thin line which limited the minutes he could offer coach Mandy Juruni in the fourth quarter.
That was as big a turning point as any in what was close game until the final 52 seconds. Guard Francis Kasekende’s two lay-ups, off turnovers, when KIU led 65-63 blew the game open.
Kasekende had an efficient night. His 16 points came off going 3 for 3 from two-point range, 2 of 3 from downtown and 4 for 4 from the charity line.
Edwin Kateregga, seven points, finished it with a slam dunk in the final second. Unluckily, there were too many empty yellow seats and few fans to memorise it.
Chris Omanye scored 14, a tally matched by veteran Henry Mwinuka and Bol Akol contributed 10 to lift KIU to sixth with a 12-6 record.
For Oilers, the old ghost of failing to score beyond Kabangu will remain especially as Jimmy Enabu made only six attempts for four points in an insipid display.
“I just didn’t play,” Enabu said. It felt like Oilers thought this was a night-off for Enabu as they remained fourth at 13-6, behind third-placed Warriors’ 13-5.
Ramadhan Arou’s energy fetched a game-high 17 points in a losing effort while Mohammed Yusuf had one of his better games since joining from Miracle Eagles with 14.
FRIDAY LEAGUE RESULTS
M: KIU 72-65 City Oilers
M: Nkumba 55-64 Charging Rhino
TODAY AT YMCA
M: KIU vs. Miracle (8.30pm)
M: Ndejje vs. Vegetarian (4.30pm)
M: Warriors vs. Heaters (12.30pm)
W: Mak Sparks vs. Stormers (6.30pm)
W: KIU vs. Nabisunsa (10.30am)